- TCGA President’s Report -
It was a year that Jim Bradford isn’t likely to forget. He served as president of Texas Cotton Ginners’ Association, celebrated his 20th wedding anniversary with wife Sally, watched his two daughters enter high school and helped North Gin of Dimmitt celebrate its 50th anniversary.
Through it all, there was a real sense of accomplishment. In particular, he believes 2007 will go down in history as one of the most memorable for Texas High Plains cotton production and ginning.
“When you have a year where our producers and ginners achieved all-time highs in quality and yields, it makes everybody feel good,” he says.
“As for the year TCGA had, I felt privileged to lead the organization. We dealt with a lot of issues, and I think Texas ginners are doing their part to deliver a quality product to all of our domestic and overseas customers.”
Bradford is hopeful that the new Farm Bill will be signed by March 15, the deadline for getting the President’s signature. If that deadline isn’t met, farm policy will refer back to 1949 permanent law. That is a scenario nobody in the cotton industry wants to envision.
The TCGA president believes the improved quality of the 2007 Texas cotton crop is a classic example of how the state’s industry is trying to be proactive in contributing to U.S. cotton’s reputation as being the most reliable supplier of cotton fiber in the world.
“I think our ginners are embracing technology and doing whatever it takes to preserve cotton quality,” says Bradford. “That bodes well for our future in this competitive global environment we’re in now.”
TCGA dealt with other issues in 2007 that Bradford feels proud to have been a part of. In particular, he was pleased that the legal weight for module trucks in the state was increased from 59,400 to 64,000 pounds. This was significant for gins with picker cotton modules, where trucks regularly weighed more than 59,400 pounds.
Bradford will be the first to admit that acreage shifts from cotton to grain had a dramatic impact on cotton ginners. But he believes anything that helps farmers ultimately benefits all parties.
“I think we have much
to look forward to in our industry,” he adds. “If we get
a good Farm Bill, we have a lot of opportunities for cotton. I’m
just glad I could contribute by being allowed to serve as president.
It was a very special year for me.”